CAROLYN Daniels has just completed penning the final sentence of an 80,000 word manuscript for her first novel Finding Cazz.
"All I'm doing now is reviewing and making sure it flows," said Carolyn, who wrote the initial draft in 2009/2010 over the summer break from CQUniversity, where she is studying a Bachelor of Professional Communication.
That long pent-up burst of creativity, along with development with Deoni Fifiord at the Bundaberg Writers' Club Masterclass, resulted in Carolyn being chosen to attend a manuscript development workshop with Queensland Writers' Centre and publishers Hachette Australia.
"Deoni told me that the first two chapters, which set up the book, were really interesting but the whole thing needed dialogue. It's easier to tell not show," said Carolyn, who told the tale of her personal quest located in our familiar landscape, with the stirring introduction to the book set on the Capricorn Coast.
"It was a fabulous story to write, really powerful and hugely emotional writing.
"The first voice I had to write was my father's," she said, recounting the first chapter, where he was dying in the backyard from a blood clot at the age of 48 and 12-year-old Carolyn found him.
Chosen as one of nine out of 250 applicants who sent in the first 50 pages of their novels, Carolyn spent a week working with Hachette editor Vanessa Radnidge in Brisbane, to hone her tools to improve her book.
"She cried when I walked in for the interview and told me she would do her best," said a relaxed and happy Carolyn, who looked forward to a rolling process of more edits until the book took its final form, towards the end of the year.
Taking her raw novel, that started with an internet search on how to write a book, Carolyn developed her writing skills and had a taste of working with respected industry professionals.
"Apparently there is a book karma: you need to be easy to work with," she laughed.